Presentation on theme: "Internal Quality Assurance seminar Common challenges among QAA ENQA Review Committee perspective Guy Aelterman Den Haag,15-16 June 2009."— Presentation transcript:
Internal Quality Assurance seminar Common challenges among QAA ENQA Review Committee perspective Guy Aelterman Den Haag,15-16 June 2009
Starting points 2 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 i.Review committee and Board of ENQA take Internal QA of agencies into account in order to grant full membership or renewal full membership ii.Review report is basis ENQA decision iii.Criterion for evaluation is ENQA Criterion 7 – Accountability procedures, by extension ESG 3.8
ESG 3.8 – Accountability procedures 3 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Agencies should have in place procedures for their own accountability. (standard) Guidelines: These procedures are expected to include the following: i.a published policy for the assurance of the quality of the agency itself, made available on its website;
ESG 3.8 – Accountability procedures 4 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 ii.documentation which demonstrates that: the agencys processes and results reflect its mission and goals of quality assurance; the agency has in place, and enforces, a no-conflict-of-interest mechanism in the work of its external experts, Committee/Council/Board and staff members; the agency has reliable mechanisms that ensure the quality of any activities and material produced by subcontractors, if some or all of the elements in its quality assurance procedure are subcontracted to other parties;
ESG 3.8 – Accountability procedures 5 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 the agency has in place internal quality assurance procedures which include an internal feedback mechanism (i.e. a means to collect feedback from its own staff and council/board); an internal reflection mechanism (i.e. means to react to internal and external recommendations for improvement); and an external feedback mechanism (i.e. means to collect feedback from experts and reviewed institutions for future development) in order to inform and underpin its own development and improvement. iii.a mandatory cyclical external review of the agencys activities at least once every five years
ENQA Criterion 7 – Accountability procedures 6 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 There are minor however understandable differences between ENQA criterion 7 and ESG 3.8: The guidelines of the ESG 3.8 are integrated in the ENQA criterion 7 (part of criterion). An extension of the requirements concerning the cyclical external review a mandatory cyclical external review of the agencys activities at least once every five years which includes a report on its conformity with the membership criteria of ENQA.
Findings and facts in Review reports 7 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 1: (a) Since the last review, the agency has set out to correct a weakness that had been pointed out by the experts – a lack of a valid internal quality assurance system. (b) In order to implement the policy that it had already developed in this area, the agency formed a working group in order to create the final version of the system (c) The mapping of the system, based on the 11 existing procedures, is available on the agencys website.
Findings and facts in Review reports 8 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 1: (d) For lack of a complete system, the agency has already set up various internal quality insurance processes, notably several management loops (consultation, analysis, decision making), in order to collect the view point of: - the HEIs questionnaire sent to all of the audited at the end of each accreditation campaign ; - the students, who at the end of each audit visit, write a report on the practice ; - all of the stakeholders, through working groups and an annual conference; more recently, the graduates. Conclusion: The panel of experts concludes that the agency has set up procedures that allow it to be accountable for its activity and that, in terms of internal quality assurance, it has defined a policy, already has actual procedures, and is applying itself to developing a real system – which puts it in full compliance with criterion 7 of ENQA.
Findings and facts in Review reports 9 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 2: (a) The Panel has established that the agency has or is developing clear procedures at Executive and Board levels for planning and monitoring its own performance. Key processes include: - preparation and monitoring of a Strategic Plan for 2008-2010, supported by an annual work plan, - adoption by the agencys Board of a code of ethics and an internal quality system manual for all those providing services or collaborating with the Agency (b) The agency publishes an annual report with details of its activities to ensure that its processes and results reflect its mission and goals. ……
Findings and facts in Review reports 10 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 2: (c) The appointment and recruitment procedures for the agencys reviewers and auditors ensure there are no conflicts of interest. (d) Recently the agency (for the purpose of this evaluation) surveyed external experts and the experience has convinced it to make follow-up questionnaires mandatory. ( e) A survey of stakeholders was recently undertaken for the purposes of getting some feedback about the level of satisfaction they have across a range of the agencys functions. In an attempt to measure the degree to which stakeholders believe the Agency is fulfilling the principles of independence, objectivity, transparency, efficiency, distance and fairness. Questionnaires were sent to approximately 11,000 stakeholders The agency intends to develop and routinely implement this external feedback mechanism Conclusion: Full compliance
Findings and facts in Review reports 11 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 3: (a) The Panel has established that the agency has or is developing clear procedures at Group, Executive and Board levels for planning and monitoring its own performance. Key processes include: - preparation and monitoring of an Annual Operating Plan - adoption by the agencys Board of a revised framework for measuring and assessing the agencys effectiveness, focusing on the three key areas of performance, success and impact. The methodology includes traffic light indicators - an evaluation policy, underpinning an open and reflective evaluation, monitoring and review structure for all agency activity across the sector. (b) The complex stakeholder context within which the agency operates makes necessary a similarly complex accountability system. The Panel confirms that agency delivers substantial accountability to key stakeholders through a variety of mechanisms …….
Findings and facts in Review reports 12 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 3: (c) The agency operates a number of internal policies, for example: data protection policy; electronic communications policy; equal opportunities policy; evaluation policy; human resources policies;……. All policies are available on the web in line. (d) The agency publishes an annual report with details of its activities to ensure that its processes and results reflect its mission and goals.. (e) The appointment and recruitment procedures for the agency reviewers and auditors ensure there are no conflicts of interest, and reviewers/auditors may not for example review or audit their own institutions. (f) The agency employs a number of mechanisms for internal and external feedback. These include: an annual staff survey to monitor the satisfaction of employees; monthly staff briefings led by the Chief Executive; …. better working' scheme to encourage staff to suggest ways of improving the performance and efficiency; (g) regular surveys of external stakeholders' views It was not evident to the Panel that there had been wide consultation within the agency in the drafting of the self-evaluation prepared for this review.. Conclusion: Fully compliant
Findings and facts in Review reports 13 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 4: (a)The agency has of itself in various documents on its website (especially the Internal Quality System and Code of Ethics) and has in place an internal quality assurance system which has just recently been ISO 9001:2000 recertified. (b)The agency also has in place, and enforces, a no-conflict-of-interest mechanism in the work of its external experts. It provides a document titled Agreement regarding confidentiality and adherence to the agencys ethical principles and code of ethics, which has to be signed by external experts. All in-house staff and experts who participate in the Agencys quality assurance processes must abide by the Code of Ethics …..
Findings and facts in Review reports 14 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 4: (c)However, as the agency states in its SE-report, the feedback on the processes carried out by the agency is minimal. They occasionally employ questionnaires and meta-assessments. Thus the review panel recommends building up systematic internal and external feedback mechanisms in order to inform its own development and improvement and to create a common evaluation culture within the entire organisation. Given the evidence mentioned above, the review panel concludes that The agency is fully compliant with this ENQA criterion.
Findings and facts in Review reports 15 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 5: (a)The committee has touched upon this issue already that the experience with the internal quality assurance and evaluation system is understandably scarce, given the fact that it became operational this year. Nevertheless, there is a structured and differentiated system. From the presentation the committee received during the visit, the impression is that it is a rather heavy and all- embracing system. The system should be granted the time prove itself, but in the process a strategic priority on the core processes might be sensible. (b) The agency Quality Assurance Protocols (deduction of strategic plan)show that the agency is developing an approach to internal quality assurance that could help address some of the reported weaknesses. ….
Findings and facts in Review reports 16 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 5: (c) Measures will be developed to make the interaction between the various internal and external actors involved more efficient, more reliable and more transparent. The documents suggest internal Quality Assurance activities were underway during last year, but the committee heard little evidence of this. Furthermore the Quality Assurance Protocols all appear to have been recently approved, although the referenced dates may represent recent actions taken on policy documents adopted at an earlier time. (d) Furthermore, the committee feels that board positions for stakeholder parties might very well contribute to a greater support and to a more active participation in the development of the system which may be a serious issue given the risk of substantially decreasing benefits in a heavy system of programme accreditation based on threshold quality. The committee deems this a potential weakness, and therefore cannot conclude that the agency complies fully with this standard. The review panel advises the minister and the agency to include relevant stakeholders that are not yet represented especially students. Conclusion : Substantial compliance.
Findings and facts in Review reports 17 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 6: (a) There is a considerable degree of accountability in the agencys work. Accountability directed procedures include rules for no-conflict-of-interest mechanism of external experts and feedback mechanisms. Also external reviews are carried out frequently. (b) The role of external stakeholders is however limited and the composition of the Council is too much based on representation of HEIs only. (c) Also the agency own internal quality assurance system is underdeveloped. (d) Openness to the outside world, in particular when there are critical remarks still has to be developed further ….
Findings and facts in Review reports 18 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 6: Recommendation Although accountability is looked after in many respects, a further opening up of the work of the agency is desirable. In this process the clear descriptions and the implementation of an internal quality assurance system is essential. The Code of Ethics should distinguish between those involved in external evaluation and internal evaluation within institutions Conclusion: Substantially compliant
Findings and facts in Review reports 19 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 7: (a) Although it has not adopted a published policy for the assurance of its own quality according to ENQA Regulation, the agency practically implements a number of quality assurance measures. (b) An internal organisation and process manual of the managing body documents the process of accreditation. Open questions or suggested changes to the accreditation procedure are addressed in regular meetings of the managing body. The managing director collects and disseminates questions and problems relating to accreditation centrally. (c) Follow-up workshops are being staged with the heads of the review teams each year in September to give feedback after the completion of the evaluation processes. ….
Findings and facts in Review reports 20 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 Case 7: (d) A series of measures and initiatives are designed to ensure the quality of work of the managing body. An organisation and process manual describes the organisational set-up of the managing body, as well as the responsibilities of the staff according to distinct post profiles. It defines the activities of the managing body at the interface between the agency and relevant stakeholders and documents all process descriptions as to external quality assurance procedures as well as internal administration. The evaluators note that theagency has not yet developed a formally differentiated internal quality assurance system, but is applying several external feedback mechanisms and processes. Conclusion: The agency is largely meeting the above ENQA standards
A reflection on those statements 21 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 IQA is ONE of the issues included in criterion 7, not the only one There are mainly two points of interest as well in criterion 7 as in review reports concerning IQA (a) policy public available (on website) (b) IQA procedures including internal and external feedback Overlooking reports those two points of interest are mostly demonstrated however in many cases rudimentary
A reflection on those statements 22 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 In many cases IQA is few developed in review report however (i) strange for organisations dealing with QA (ii) if evident, reports could give examples of good practice and could provide comparisons Some panels are going too far in details, often rather with personal reflections than with considerations toward criterion Conclusions of panels going from substantial to full compliance however with comparable arguments
Concluding 23 Common challenges in IQA Den Haag, 15-16 June 2009 IQA is relatively few developed in review reports A lot of agencies are doing much more concerning IQA than showed in the reports ( and even than showed in the SER) Some agencies fail in the own IQA but this is often not demonstrated, detected or argued in the reports IQA is not only an aspect of criterion 7, but can also be demonstrated in other criterions, such as ESG 2.5 Reporting, 2.6 Follow-up procedures and 2.8 System-wide analyses